2nd Season Mule Deer Colorado

Doddse1

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
57
Location
JBLM Washington
Hey everyone,

I drew a second season rifle mule deer tag in Central Colorado. This is my first rifle hunt in Colorado and the altitudes are pretty high (9-12K feet). I have called CPW and they have told me the deer herd in the unit I drew is really healthy and there are plenty of deer. I have been told that this hunt 29Oct-6November will be completely dependent on weather. I wanted to reach out to some more experienced people here and ask for some basic pointers on E-Scouting and other things.. First question is about altitudes. What altitudes should be focused on, along with what direction the slopes should be facing? The CPW woman I spoke to said basically to look for browse and there isn't really too many specific altitudes to focus on. They just are where they are. Additionally, I am going to try and spend 2-3 days scouting in early september post elk hunt. If I am able to find some decent bucks (i am by no means expecting to see B&C bucks everywhere) in early september, should I consider what I find as pretty reliable? Or should I just take it as they're there now, but not likely in November? Has anyone talked to any biologist in Colorado that has been helpful?

The september scouting will also be a to make sure I can access the 3-4 areas I have picked out as potential spots for my hunt. I am not expecting to see really any rut activity as well. As far as the weather is concerned, I am assuming that it would be best to get cold temps and a nice snow storm to get the deer up and moving? And be camped out glassing and ready to move if needed to either ambush or do as Robby Denning suggests, still hunt and move extremely slowly through thick timber hoping to kill a good buck. Any help on here or PM'd is appreciated. Trying to be successful with hopefully a mature buck this year.
 

westrnwild

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 13, 2014
Messages
351
Location
Colorado
The big killer in Colorado is everything on e scouting looks doable..it's not. Unless you spend alot of times in the Mtns and are well trained and understand your limits that will be the big hurdle. I know the fitness world tells you to do mtn tough or CrossFit and your fine. But Colorado has some absolutely devastating elevations for people not used to it.

The biologist here are rarely helpful. I asked a biologist about a unit once. A unit I live by and the answer he gave me told me he hadn't even been out there. Granted there are a few good ones...so maybe you got Lucky.

The weather that time of the year you'll be fine. Everything will be accessible...the guys that say it's weather dependant still act like it's the 90s. I can only remember one season in the last 6 years where I got cut off from certain country because of snow. There might be snow and it might slow you down. But you can still make it.

That time of year bucks are where they are. That's a true statement. Cover country. Use your legs and your glass. Good luck
 

TheGreek

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
224
Location
N. Illinois
Has anyone talked to any biologist in Colorado that has been helpful?
Both times I’ve spoken to CO biologists, they have been very helpful. Once for a sept rifle bear hunt in 2020 and again for a 3rd rifle mule deer hunt in 2021. The mule deer biologist spoke to me for about an hour. Super friendly guy. I’ll be calling another one here in a few weeks in prep for an early sept wilderness rifle deer hunt this fall. Hope you have better luck with the next one.
 
OP
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Doddse1

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
57
Location
JBLM Washington
Both times I’ve spoken to CO biologists, they have been very helpful. Once for a sept rifle bear hunt in 2020 and again for a 3rd rifle mule deer hunt in 2021. The mule deer biologist spoke to me for about an hour. Super friendly guy. I’ll be calling another one here in a few weeks in prep for an early sept wilderness rifle deer hunt this fall. Hope you have better luck with the next one.
DId you get the contact for the biologist from CPW?
 

Thomas11

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
296
U can add the species layers in onx now and on CPW website. Then see their summer and winter area as well as migration patterns depending on weather prolly be somewhere in between those two. I’d prolly be more strategic than just wondering around thinking they are everywhere and anywhere just saying.
 
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Doddse1

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
57
Location
JBLM Washington
I agree. I would say it is a waist of time to just Meander around looking. I have done some more research on migration routes and winter areas.


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OutdoorAg

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
621
Those published migration routes... I mean, is that not congregating hunters as well?

Not talking a ton of people. But still - 2nd season is a known crap shoot based on the weather. Not getting into the rut activity, etc - so really hoping for some storms to get em moving - aka 2nd season in 2021.

I just wonder if its more worth the time hunting around the published migration patterns, knowing you're likely to get into deer, but also into trucks/humans. As opposed to looking/thinking outside the box and hunting a needle in the haystack kind of deer that may not leave for the high country.

Are there some deer that are low country deer all year?
 

willfrye027

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
1,417
Last year second season central Colorado the deer were spread out from the winter range up to 10,200 feet and everywhere in between. Probably higher but that’s the highest I saw a high concentration of deer. When you scout in September, focus on access and learning the roads. Don’t worry about finding bucks. You want to have a long list of “spots” to check when the season hits. I would not spend time in areas that are easily glassed or accessed from the road. Doesn’t have to be miles from the road, few hundred yards off the road of steep or thick terrain can hold big bucks.

Get to the unit a few days early and figure out what elevations the deer are. Weather will concentrate deer lower but they will still be trickling down to winter range even without significant weather based on sunlight/low temps and feed situation.

Find the big doe groups that are secluded and bounce around between them; make sure you’re there at first light when the bucks will be checking does before moving back into thick cover.
 
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Doddse1

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
57
Location
JBLM Washington
Last year second season central Colorado the deer were spread out from the winter range up to 10,200 feet and everywhere in between. Probably higher but that’s the highest I saw a high concentration of deer. When you scout in September, focus on access and learning the roads. Don’t worry about finding bucks. You want to have a long list of “spots” to check when the season hits. I would not spend time in areas that are easily glassed or accessed from the road. Doesn’t have to be miles from the road, few hundred yards off the road of steep or thick terrain can hold big bucks.

Get to the unit a few days early and figure out what elevations the deer are. Weather will concentrate deer lower but they will still be trickling down to winter range even without significant weather based on sunlight/low temps and feed situation.

Find the big doe groups that are secluded and bounce around between them; make sure you’re there at first light when the bucks will be checking does before moving back into thick cover.

I appreciate you reaching out. I have been starring at several different maps of the unit I’m in, along with road access and terrain features to get away from most hunters. The unit I’m in does seem to have a ton of dirt road, but I’ll need to call usfs to see if all of them are usable or just shown on the different map companies I use.

So far I have several “spots” but a couple of them may be too far to check off the road. I only will have like 3 days to scout so I think it’s a good call to just check for access. I will check at a minimum one spot just to see what I can see. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to get in before season starts because of work but I certainly will try to.


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Nickofthewoods

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 5, 2018
Messages
1,280
Location
Colorado
Are there some deer that are low country deer all year?

Yes there are, think town bucks that you see in people's front yards. I've found that unless you know where one frequents, they can be hard to locate just because there are fewer of them, and usually near or on private property.
 
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